When it comes to commercial plumbing, it’s all about making the most secure and reliable connections, and this doesn’t change when it comes to the business side. For any company, finding the best manufacturer to fit your needs can be a daunting task. There’s a lot at stake if products don’t hold up or perform well: your time, your money and most importantly, your reputation.
With these things in mind, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of getting your products from one or multiple manufacturers so you can get the job done right and on time. In today’s economy, sourcing all products from a single supplier is growing in popularity because it offers many benefits. Here’s why working with one manufacturer of commercial plumbing solutions might be the best option when it comes to safeguarding your professional credibility and job quality.
No one wants leaky pipes, so when it comes to sourcing plumbing products, it’s crucial to find the quality you can count on. Several issues could arise with faulty products, such as failed connections or improper pipe support, which could lead to safety hazards that harm your reputation or even trigger lawsuits. Because of this, it’s necessary to find reliable products from a reputable manufacturer. Here are a few things to look for:
- Manufacturing process. Manufacturers should be able to follow through on their product promises, and they can better control the quality when they own the manufacturing process from concept to delivery. Look for a manufacturer that oversees multiple, if not all, aspects of product development. Also, look for signs that it maintains a focus on continuous improvement and is transparent about what its products are made of.
- All products should be put through repetitive expert testing to guarantee a standard of excellence that meets industry code and performance requirements. Also, be sure to look for any testing that the manufacturer performs in addition to those required by industry standards.
One of the primary benefits of single sourcing is that all the plumbing products from one manufacturer are designed to work together in harmony, even if it has multiple brands, which in turn creates a more reliable system. For instance, RWC’s SharkBite EvoPEX fittings are engineered to be compatible with SharkBite’s PEX pipe. Knowing that your products are designed to work as one system saves you time researching compatible fits across multiple manufacturers.
However, it is also important to look for products that are versatile enough to work with other manufacturers to give you plenty of options. One example is HoldRite’s PEXRite pipe supports, which are compatible with all PEX tubing manufacturers. Having product compatibility makes product training less complicated, saving you time on the job.
It can be difficult to find consistent quality when a system is made with products from multiple manufacturers. Because parts from one maker are designed to work together, when you find a manufacturer you can trust, you’ll know all their solutions have undergone the same standards of testing throughout different product lines. You can have peace of mind that you’ll get the same level of performance whether it be from their PEX pipe or their valves.
Support Services and Resources
Product quality is not the only consistency you should expect. Your trusted manufacturer should have dedicated people or teams to support you throughout the buying and installation process.
- Product support. Company representatives should talk you through product samples, demos and educational presentations to help you decide what’s right for your project. When working with one supplier, you also don’t have to check in with several contacts to verify when all your different products will arrive. And if you have any questions regarding your account, you always know who to ask. Building a relationship improves supplier attention and service and ensures that someone is on your side working to get your products to you on time.
- Estimation services. In commercial construction, you want a manufacturer that provides support throughout your project. For example, RWC provides construction estimating services, providing quick and accurate material and cost estimates at each stage in your project. Typically, this job falls to someone on the contractor’s team; however, outsourcing this task can help you plan your costs and get a competitive bid while giving you back valuable time on the job site. Look for a manufacturer that has your best interests in mind and can help contribute to your success on the job.
- Product resources. You should have access to product specs, installation instructions and technical test data. If you do experience a problem, the supplier should be accessible to talk through your feedback to inform product enhancements and new product development.
Cost and Time Efficiency
In commercial plumbing, time and money are key considerations when choosing the right manufacturer to work with. Something to think about is cheaper isn’t always better. Even if a manufacturer’s product has higher up-front costs, it could actually save you more money on labor costs and provide better quality in the end, keeping you on track and within budget.
Comparing costs across suppliers can be time-consuming and potentially delay your project. With single sourcing, you don’t have to juggle multiple invoices or relationships with vendors.
Making a Reliable Connection
Just like with product quality, cheaper isn’t always better. Putting in the groundwork early to find one trusted manufacturer can save you time and money in the end. As every contractor knows, all projects come with so many moving parts and fluctuating variables that having peace of mind about your product performance and longevity is a big help. With a reliable manufacturer on your side, you can safeguard your reputation while also keeping your contracts on schedule and within budget, making all the difference from job planning to completion.
Emily Connell is the Director of Brand Marketing and Communications at RWC — a market leader and manufacturer of water control systems and plumbing solutions for residential, commercial and industrial applications.